More Craig Lowe arrest video released; deputies on scene tell mayor his job is cause for different treatment

By and on April 2nd, 2013

Officials released more video Tuesday from the night of Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe’s arrest.

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office video includes conversations between Lowe and deputies after the single-car crash on March 21 in unincorporated Alachua County near Monteocha. In the crash, Lowe struck a ditch in his Honda Civic and knocked over a road sign.

In the video, an unidentified deputy tells Lowe, “I can tell by your eyes that you’ve had a lot more than three beers.” She continues by saying, “We can go a whole other route with that but because of the job you have, we’re not going to.” (In the video below, Lowe and the deputies are both out of frame to the left.)

Although ASO deputies were on scene, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper was sent out the site of the crash. FHP trooper Javon Murphy arrived at approximately 4:06 a.m., according to the arrest report.

After Murphy administered an on-scene sobriety test, Lowe was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and taken by the FHP trooper to the Alachua County Jail.

The sheriff’s office video comes three days after WUFT was the first to publish dashboard camera video of Lowe’s arrest from the Florida Highway Patrol. That video was from the patrol car of Murphy, who arrived at the scene of the crash at Northeast 21st Street and Northeast 156th Avenue after Alachua County Sheriff deputies responded.

Craig Lowe mug
Craig Lowe was arrested March 21 and spent part of the day in jail. On Monday, he reached a plea agreement with State Attorney Bill Cervone to avoid trial.

The Florida Highway Patrol video shows Lowe completing four sobriety tests. In the arrest report, Murphy said Lowe “appeared to be intoxicated” and “performed poorly” on the tests.

Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell said she had not seen the sheriff’s office video. She directed comment to Alachua County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Art Forgey.

Forgey returned WUFT’s call at 5:40 p.m., and said he has not seen the video. He said he was in “driver training” this afternoon, and could not comment until he has seen the video.

Lowe entered a deferral agreement Monday, avoiding a trial. After the agreement, State Attorney Bill Cervone said in a statement the mayor had been treated exactly as anyone else would be in determining his qualifications for deferred prosecution.

“Any suggestion to the contrary is unfounded,” he wrote.

WUFT could not reach Cervone Tuesday afternoon for comment about the sheriff’s video. WUFT reporters have requested statistics from the state attorney office on the number and outcome of similar cases, and were told that information will be released later this week.

Chip Skambis and Ethan Magoc contributed to this report. 

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  • Former supporter

    The mayor could have killed someone with his reckless and wanton behavior. Bill Cervone should be ashamed of himself; he has made a mockery of justice. Craig Lowe is a disgrace to himself and this community. I will stay home rather than vote for a irresponsible scofflaw. I am outraged. I only hope that others in this community recognize the harm Craig Lowe could have caused and stay home on election day.


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